Press Release

Minister Brady launches Report on Injuries in Ireland

Ms Áine Brady, T. D., Minister for Older People and Health Promotion today (25 November 2009) launched a new report entitled ‘Injuries in Ireland’. Injuries or accidents are the fourth leading cause of death in Ireland after cancers, diseases of the circulatory system and respiratory diseases, with an estimated 1,500 fatalities a year. Tripping and falling were one of the main causes of injuries among adults, according to the report, with the home being the most common location of injury.

The report, which was commissioned by the Department of Health and Children, is part of a series from data collected for ‘SLÁN 2007: Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition in Ireland’. The research came out of collaborative work by the National University of Ireland Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Economic and Social Research Institute, and University College Cork. Injuries are costly, but more importantly, may have long-term consequences for the injured individual. Injury prevention programmes exist and their effectiveness has been demonstrated. Highlighting the extent of the problem in Ireland, this report provides information on key areas and population for prevention of injuries and promotion of safety in Ireland.

Key Findings contained in the report include:

  • Both self-reported injury and emergency department presentations were highest among young people in the age group 15-34 years. The rates of injury-related hospital discharges and injury-related fatalities were highest among the older population (aged 65 and over).
  • Traffic-related injuries, especially among men, were the leading cause of injury-related mortality. Such injuries were most common among young people (aged 15-34) and much older people, with mortality rates peaking among 15-24 year-olds and 75-84 year-olds.

“There is excellent work taking place in Ireland in the areas of road safety, fire safety and water safety. I believe that further improvements can be achieved by closer co-operation between organisations and people who have a role to play in the field of injury prevention in order to bring a greater focus and co-ordination to the work being done. ” Minister Brady said. Dr Michal Molcho of the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway was lead author on the report: “This report provides the most comprehensive information to date on injuries in Ireland. The findings indicate that injuries are more common in young people and in the elderly, and that more severe injuries are more prevalent among those less well off. The findings also indicate the main locations and activity leading to an injury providing us with important information as to where we should target prevention efforts”. Dr Molcho said.

Further key findings contained in the ‘Injuries in Ireland’Report:

  • Findings show that 9% of all adults and 43% of all school children reported one or more medically attended injuries in the previous 12 months. Injuries were more prevalent among men and boys, and among those in the age group 12-29 years.
  • Of adults reporting an injury requiring medical treatment, 52% reported 3 or more days of lost activity. Activity loss due to injury was more common among those with lower income, unemployed and medical card holders.
  • Among the adult population, the main locations where injuries occurred were in the home, at a sports facility and on the road. The main activities leading to injury were sports or physical activities, work-related injury and injury during work around the house.
  • Among school children, the main locations where injuries occurred were in sport facilities, at home and in school, while the main activities leading to injury were sports or physical activity.
  • Among the younger population, fall-related injuries were not likely to translate into hospitalisation and fatalities were very rare. Among the older population, fall-related injuries requiring hospitalisation were as common as self-reported fall-related injuries.

View the report